Dissident workers from the Union of Oil Workers (STPRM), which represents Pemex employees, reportedly created a new labor union on December 3. The new union, called Petromex, emerged as a response to internal disputes within STPRM over the leadership of Carlos Romero Deschamps, acting Secretary-General since 1993 and a former senator for the PRI party. Deschamps is accused by detractors of having abused his influence to embezzle funds. The creation of Petromex was reportedly sponsored by incumbent Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO)’s political party MORENA. According to Petromex’s leader, Pitágoras Gruz Salaya, the union will seek to attract up to 80% of STPRM’s affiliates who allegedly “despise” Deschamps, striving for transparency and democratic participation.
The creation of Petromex took place only two days after AMLO took office on December 1.
As previously assessed, given that Deschamps is associated with former President Enrique Peña Nieto, dissident elements within STPRM were likely waiting for the presidential transition to take further actions against the long-time Secretary-General. However, despite the fact that MORENA is perceived to support Petromex, AMLO is not likely to publicly favor the new union until it manages to attract nationwide representation across Mexico’s oil industry. The establishment of the new union could potentially ease tensions within Pemex’s workers who had previously threatened to take industrial actions to attract notoriety to their grievances.